BMW has already started to leak details of its 2014 i3 electric car to the press. Last month, the company unveiled the i3 at the Frankfurt Motor Show and reported its 7.9 second 0-62 mph time, electronically limited top speed of 93 mph and range-extender engine option.
Consumer Reports recently got more details at a meeting with executives at a BMW event in New York City. When it came to the i3’s optional range-extending engine, Chief Engineer Ulli Kranz didn’t want to talk specifics -- but when reporter Eric Evarts suggested that a motorcycle engine would be best suited to the task, Kranz gave the game away.
“His eyes lit up when it was suggested that a motorcycle engine might be a perfect fit for such a car,” wrote Evarts. So it seems likely that the G-series motorcycle engine from the G650GS dual purpose adventure motorcycle will be repurposed for the role
BMW’s aim is to produce a car which is 100% recyclable, including everything from the electric motor and battery pack through to its dashboard and seats. The i3 will use naturally grown fibers in seat and dash components instead of oil-derived plastics, something BMW hopes will help the i brand become a sign of ecologically sound luxury.
Kranz confirmed that the battery pack would be made of prismatic lithium-ion batteries made by Bosch and Samsung. Totaling 32 kilowatt-hours in size, it should weigh around 500 pounds -- the same amount saved by building the i3’s chassis from aluminum and carbon fiber instead of steel.
In consequence, the BMW i3 should be one of the lightest electric cars available, and with its large battery pack, easily achieve the 100 mile range BMW is hoping for. —Paul DucheneBack to News